|“||Athena isn't the only god keeping watch on you, Spartan.||”|
–The Grave Digger to Kratos about his true identity.
The Grave Digger was a mysterious man who was busy digging graves outside the Temple of the Oracle in Athens during its siege. He claimed it to be Kratos' grave, but soon became a helping hand when Kratos attempted to escape the Underworld. The Grave Digger, as it turns out, is actually the mortal guise of Zeus, the King of the Gods.
God of War Series
God of War
The grave digger first appeared digging a grave in front of the Oracle's Temple when he is approached by Kratos whom he quickly identifies. The Spartan wondered why he was digging a grave in the middle of a battle however, the digger told him it was an important one when Kratos asked who would occupy the grave, he is told "You will, my son!" until sending the surprised Spartan on his way. Later on when Kratos was killed by Ares at Pandora's Temple and was journeying through the Underworld a stone with rope tied to it fell from a hole. Kratos climbed the rope and return to Athens at the Oracle's temple where he was met by the Grave Digger.
It turns out his statement about Kratos using the grave he was digging was accurate as it proved to be the perfect portal for Kratos to use whilst escaping the Underworld. The digger commented on Kratos he just finished digging the hole as the spartan asked him who he was to which the digger was about to answer until they heard an explosion. The Digger told Kratos to go quickly but the Spartan asked how he knew of the situation to which the mysterious man answered "Athena isn't the only god keeping watch on you, Spartan". Afterward he disappeared, with his voice telling Kratos to defeat Ares so that his sins would be forgiven.
The identity of the man was a source of great controversy for fans, who speculated he was either Zeus, or Hermes in disguise. As such, similarities were noted between his voice and Zeus', particularly when he gave Zeus' Fury to Kratos.
It is also possible that Zeus and the other gods feared Ares' increasing belligerence, and thus they positioned Kratos to succeed in destroying Ares, but Zeus remained in disguise to avoid being discovered - and thus avoided a potential war between the gods.
Ghost of Sparta
The Grave Digger reappears in Ghost of Sparta. Kratos first encounters him as he makes his way through the city of Heraklion. There, the Grave Digger addresses the actions Kratos has done, and advises him to turn back now and give up his quest. Determined to find Deimos, Kratos ignores the advice and continues on.
After his victory over Thanatos, which cost Deimos his life, Kratos carries the dead body of his brother up the Path of Solitude to the peak of Suicide Bluffs. There, he once again finds the Grave Digger waiting for him. The grave digger shows Kratos a freshly dug grave, in which Kratos places Deimos to be buried. Kratos tells his dead brother that he is now free from his torment before he goes and stands at the edge of the bluffs where he briefly ponders of suicide before relenting and asking of no one in particular "By the Gods, what have I become?" The Grave Digger sardonically replies "Death. The Destroyer...of Worlds,", before disappearing as the Spartan turned to face him.
After Kratos had left the Bluffs and returned to Olympus, the Grave Digger appears once more, this time carrying the dead body of Callisto. He lays her in another grave and silently pays his respects to her. However, between the graves of both Deimos and Callisto is a third grave that is currently empty. To this, the Grave Digger simply says that now "only one remains", referring to Kratos.
After unlocking all other items in the Temple of Zeus, players can obtain the Grave Digger's Shovel, which allows them to use the Grave Digger costume in the Combat Arena. While the costume showed in the arena settings menu is the Grave Digger (giving the impression that the decrepit old man is a playable character), the actual match starts with him plunging the shovel into the ground, conjuring a large thunderbolt on himself, revealing his true form. His character model seems to be the same as the one from God of War II, evidenced by his stance and attacks wielding the Blade of Olympus. He also uses the Gauntlet that was acquired by Kratos in Chains of Olympus.
- In God of War, he is voiced by Paul Eiding, who also voiced Zeus, hinting at their connection, another interesting fact is him referring to Kratos as "son" foreshadowing the revelation in God of War II. Though Eiding never played Zeus again, he returned to play the Grave Digger in Ghost of Sparta.
- In the God of War documentary, God of War: Unearthing the Legend, Stig Asmussen (Game Director, God of War III) confirmed that The Grave Digger was indeed Zeus. The documentary came packaged in the God of War III Ultimate Edition in the form of a downloadable content from the PSN store. It has since also been released for purchase from the PSN store for $4.99.
- His quote, "Death, destroyer of worlds" is a reference to J. Robert Oppenheimer, one of the leading physicists of the Manhattan Project (and by proxy the Hindu Bhagavad Gita, from which Oppenheimer was quoting). This quote is also an easter egg in God of War II, as it appears in the sky during the vein puzzle if the player press R1 on the several specific locations. The phrase in the sky is: "Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds."
- Alan Oppenheimer, who plays Prometheus, is a relative of J. Robert Oppenheimer, specifically, his third cousin.
- A hint of Zeus' identity comes from the Grave Digger calling Kratos, "My son" as early as God of War.
- It is unclear why Zeus helped Kratos reach Pandora's Box when he knew it contained the Evils of the world. However, there's some reasons why he would do this:
- Firstly, Zeus had forbidden fights between Gods in fear of another war. Another war would mean that new Evils would be created, like in the Titanomachy.
- Secondly, the only way a mortal/demigod could kill Ares, without being directly aided by a God, was getting Pandora's Box (That's also why Zeus disguised himself to help Kratos).
- Thirdly, Zeus might have concluded that it would be easier to contain Kratos than Ares if he rebelled, given that he wasn't a full-God and that his powers could be taken back. At the end, Zeus didn't count with Fear taking over his mind or with Gaia's intervention.
- After a bout with Shovel Knight, Kratos gave Shovel Knight the Grave Digger's Shovel as a parting gift.
|Weapons and Magic|
|Weapons, Disguises, Magic:||Zeus' Lightning Bolts | Gauntlet of Zeus | Blade of Olympus | Grave Digger (Costume)|
|Player Items:||Lightning of Zeus | Zeus' Fury | Gauntlet of Zeus | Blade of Olympus|
|Items:||Zeus' Eagle | Grave Digger's Shovel | Shield of Zeus|
|Honours and Locations|
|Honour of Zeus:||Temple of Zeus (Bonus Content) | Zeus' Battle Arena | Zeus Mountain | Statue of Zeus|
|Champions:||Perseus | Hercules|
|Family:||Gaia (grandmother) | Cronos (father) | Rhea (mother) | Hera (wife/sister) | Callisto (lover) | Poseidon (brother) | Hades (brother) | Demeter (sister) | Ares (son) | Athena (daughter) | Apollo (son)|Artemis (daughter) | Hermes (son) | Hercules (son) | Hephaestus (son) | Aphrodite (daughter-in-law/aunt) | Perseus (son) | Minos (son) | Aecus (son) | Rhadamanthus (son) | Peirithous (son) | Theseus (nephew) | Muses (daughters) | Kratos (son) | Deimos (son) | Lysandra (daughter-in-law) | Calliope (grand-daughter) | Triton (nephew) | Pegasus (nephew)| Nyads (neices) | Ceryx(Non-Canon, grand-son)|
|Enemies:||Kratos | Pandora | Titans|
|Events:||Siege of Rhodes | Titanomachy | Second Titanomachy | The Son-Killing-Father Cycle|
|Others:||A Secret Revealed | Bonus Costumes | Gods | Omphalos Stone | Powers | Colors|